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Everything posted by Sarahb

  1. I apologise if I am putting this in the wrong place. It has been a long time since I have posted, but had to share this positive experience. I am a Learning support assistant in a school and run a well being group for a small number of children. Our topic at the moment is anxiety and the plan was for them to draw their anxiety monster or a time when they have been anxious. To introduce the topic I told them about a poem I had written about my anxiety monster. I wrote it in 2008 and called it OCD Monster. I even showed the OCD-UK magazine where it had been printed and the picture in the other one where I am presenting it at an OCD-UK conference. I explained a bit about my OCD. Some of them knew someone who had OCD. They were very supportive and impressed. They asked me to read the poem to them and gave me a clap at the end. It was such a positive experience and I’m proud of the respect they showed me and their grown up response. They are 9/10 years old.
  2. Thank you Polar Bear. Great advice ? Hi Ashley I think the most amazing thing is that I can actually see I have achieved something and have to admit to it. I’m very good at saying I can’t do this and that as I suffer from anxiety and OCD. My work partner said only today that we should be proud of ourselves from making our business work, from just an idea we had over lunch. I usually do win with the OCD. It depend how tired or stressed I am. I don’t remember how poorly I was before, in the years when I was a regular on the forum. I somehow have blocked it out. My husband sometimes reminds me, as he never got over it. I never want to go down that road again. I find the school work very stressful, as I am way out of my comfort zone. In truth willing my contract to end. That’s when I know I have a long way to go anxiety wise. Onwards and upwards I hope ?
  3. A lot has happened since I last posted. The OCD has been there in the background, catching me when I’m tired. I even thought I may have borderline personality disorder, but that is another story. Last year I felt quite low, as my youngest would be starting school in September. I didn’t want her to. She was my baby and I wasn’t ready to lose both my children to school’s clutches. I saw the doctor for my medication review and he strongly advised me to apply for some counselling. Eventually I did through Mind. It was free, but because of this there was no flexibility on dates. Therefore due to short notice and other commitments I only had 3 of the 6 sessions. I wasn’t optimistic either about the outcome, but did go to three sessions and was grateful for them. We talked about having small goals to start with. Take each day as it comes and enjoy the time left before my youngest started school. I discussed with the counsellor about feeling that people would want me to work as soon as my daughter started school and this filled me with extremely strong anxiety. So I felt very low and anxious. I did however have a goal to run my own pre-school classes with my best friend for 3-5 year olds. I never thought it would happen.? Amazingly I am now jointly running a pre-school preparation class with my best friend and it is going well. I love planning the sessions, but haven’t built up the confidence to teach yet. We have even grown from one session a week to two. Also in a January I made myself apply for a 1:1 afternoon teaching assistant and I got the job. So I now work two mornings a week and every afternoon (Mon-Fri). Unfortunately my OCD has become a bit stronger at the school and I find myself checking things again as before. Not as much as I used to in my office job years back, when I had to quit, but could this just be the start? I have forgotten how to deal with this monster ?
  4. Hi Caramoole I have two now. My eldest is 6 in May. My youngest has just turned 3. How time flies! I feel so guilty when I talk about them, as I am not a great Mum. Due to my anxiety I get so stressed and irritable. I'm so proud of them, that they shine even with having me as a Mum. They are having t put up with a very anxious Mum with low self esteem and low mood. I don't feel people understand me and am feeling lonely. I therefore thought I would drop a line on here to say hi. It feels like coming back home
  5. Hi there It has been a while since I posted on here. Partly because I thought my OCD had become quite mild and didn't affect me the way it used to. I still had moments, but I had OCD more or unless under control. I have checking OCD. Today I was doing the party bags for my daughter's birthday and I really struggled to do them. I couldn't remember what I had already out in the bag or I doubted myself about what I had put in and had to start all over again many times. If one of my children interrupted me in my task it was even worse. I got hot and stressed. Although my OCD has been more or less under control, my general anxiety is still a huge part of my life that it is almost chocking me and I have been so, so stressed about the party for weeks. It has made me feel really anxious and really low. This party bag thing distressed me, as it showed me that the OCD is there and could get me at any moment ?
  6. Thanks for your message Fobic Fairy :original: I had been doing so well and the OCD has been okay. Like you say having a child takes up so much of my time. It seems that it is general anxiety that is affecting me more now. I suppose that is why I haven't come onto the forum to talk about it. I still check things, but nowhere near how much I used to. I have been doing a lot of thinking and what worries me about going back to therapy is that I become so reliant on therapists. I haven't ruled it out though. I really don't want to go back on meds. I hope I can get through this blip without needing help. I think I know what triggered the low mood. I stopped going to a choir I joined last year. I liked being part of a group and I love singing. It was the social anxiety that made it impossible in the end. I then got really down about my anxiety and the way it stops me from doing things. Also this real worry about the way the anxiety is affecting my daughter. I'll work it out :original: Sarah xx
  7. Hi there Caramoole Just found an old message from you from 2008 when I had finished therapy and I was feeling positive about the future. I have been going down memory lane a bit, because I have been feeling pretty low, irritable and anxious recently and wanted to remind myself how far I had come. It has made me realise that I shouldn't try and get therapy or meds this time round, because I rely on them to strongly. I need to beat it on my own this time. This is linked to my topic, because I am worried about how my frame of mind at the moment is affecting my daughter at the moment. I know she notices my worry because she says, 'Don't worry Mummy'. This breaks my heart. She is only 2. She worries sometimes too and needs reassurance to stop her worrying. There has been progress though. We do painting and sticking at home and I try not to get irritable about the mess. I sometimes spoil it by getting upset and cross, but I am trying. My OCD is a lot better, but believe this is partly because I am at home most of the time and don't go out for long if I go anywhere, so my need to check is a lot less than when I was working and out all day. My problem now is the anxiety - overall (I worry all the time) and my social anxiety. I am also always tired and irritable most of the time. I don't think I should go down the therapy or meds route, but I am struggling. It is work in progress at the moment :original: Well that's what is happening so far. Sarah
  8. Sarahb

    Not coping

    Not really OCD related, but going through a hard time at the moment. It is OCD related in the fact that the OCD helps to make me feel useless and has made me feel little and useless in the past, which in turn effects who I am now. Feeling really low. I have a journal that I write in everyday, as a way to work through the days issues and thoughts. I have always been honest in them (part of my OCD seems to be the need to tell the truth in as much detail as needed). Now I have a daughter I don't feel able to say what I am honestly thinking in my journal in case she reads it in the future and gets the wrong impression and hurt by what I have written. It's not that I don't love her, but I don't want her to know how low I have felt at times since having her. I want her to be able to read them and know the great times we had. I am feeling so lonely being a stay at home Mum. I don't feel I am very good at it. I don't seem to have much patience and I am a bit of a perfectionist. My Dad says I am too hard on my daughter who isn't even 2 yet. I sometimes raise my voice and then regret it afterwards. I doubt myself and whether I am doing things right by her. I want to be a perfect mum and feel I am way short of that. I sometimes think I would prefer to be back at work, but don't think I would be any good at that either. I think I am good for nothing and what is the point anymore? There is nowhere to run or hide.
  9. Thanks Carol. It will be difficult for me, but I will give it a go. Good exposure for both of us
  10. Hi all. Sorry I haven't been around for ages. Didn't realise how tiring having a toddler would be! I have had checking/ responsibility OCD for about 13 years. My 16 month old daughter is developing wonderfully. She is a happy, contented child. She constantly chats and has a good understanding of what people are saying to her. But, she is starting to get very worried if she gets food on her hands or drops food in her bib or on the table. She won't eat until I have cleaned it up. I know when she was a lot younger I would clean up spills and dirty hands pretty quickly, because I didn't want her to get food in her hair or on her clothes. I don't like food or dirt on my own hands and have to wash them pretty quickly if I get them dirty. I am worried that I have made my daughter like this and it is the start of something bigger like OCD. Also my OCD flairs up when I am tired and I check whether I have switched off lights or that things are clean before putting them down. When I do this I count and click my fingers etc. I know I need to stop it and I do try and do things in my head instead. She worries if she knocks books off the shelf too (not such a serious problem). I don't want to cause my daughter to have OCD. I don't know whether anyone has experienced anything like this and has any advice? Thanks Sarah xx
  11. Sarahb


    Feeling brighter, but still struggling with OCD. Having a cold water steriliser has made a huge difference, but I still have to check the steriliser, flask and formula a few times each time I make a feed. Time consuming and tiring. Emily is five and a half months now and is at the stage where she is constantly exploring and is aware of everything around her. She amazes me every day by the things she does. It must be amazing to be a baby and experience new things all the time. Shame we don't remember being babies. I have managed to go to a baby group with her twice now on my own. A big thing with my social anxiety. I try to do things I don't like if it benefits Emily. Maybe this will be the making of me. I find that I am a little bit scared of Emily - I don't like her crying. I know it is what baby's do and their way of communicating, but I worry she won't stop when she has started or I won't be able to comfort her. I worry she will get bored and I won't know what to do with her next. I am not sleeping too well either. Emily sleeps through the night generally (touch wood). I just don't seem to switch off and wake up thinking Emily needs me (thinking it is the middle of the day, when it is the middle of the night). Mum has been off this week from work and I have seen her a bit more than usual. It has taken some of my anxiety away and I have really enjoyed being with Emily when I am more relaxed. I think she has sensed that I am more relaxed, which has made her more relaxed and happy. Emily is generally a very contented child anyway. I am not going to let the OCD or anxiety win and I am going to enjoy my time with my daughter. I am going to try and do things that will benefit her, even if I am scared. It is in writing!!
  12. Thank you very much for your replies I have thought about changing the steriliser again, but like Mummywithocd said, it would be giving in to the OCD. What you said about the time your steriliser took (3-5 minutes) and about the lid has really helped. This must be right then. I know I wash the bottles thoroughly too, which is also important. I was sorry to hear that you can barely remember your son's first 7 months :hug: I keep a journal and take a photo every day to help me remember. I haven't missed a day yet photo wise. Thank you again to all. I am trying really hard to beat this and am thinking of all my fellow sufferers. Sorry I am not on here very often to be able to offer support. It is a bit hectic at the moment with baby teething, but hopefully soon I can be of more help.
  13. Thank you for your replies. I have tried really hard these last couple of days to ignore the OCD and get on with things. It worked with not checking the flask was shut properly too many times, but the steriliser is still a problem. It took me nearly half an hour to make up a feed and set up/keep an eye on the steriliser. Half an hour of my baby's life. She wanted me to play with her and I was too busy checking the steriliser The steriliser keeps playing up though and doesn't seem to run long enough even though it is new. Saying that it doesn't give a time in the manual. The argos catalogue says it should take 5 mins or up to 5 mins (I can't remember) and the lid keeps lifting up. Most of the time not enough to leave a gap for air to get in. Most of the time just a little bit each side, which doesn't leave a gaping gap. This morning the lid came off at the front so there was a gap. I therefore had to resterilise. I just don't trust it to leave it alone to do it's thing. I suppose as they don't give a time in the manual and just says it will switch off when finished I should trust that it is doing it right, whatever the duration. I just don't want to do anything to harm my baby. But I am doing that letting the OCD win I spoke to someone earlier and she said that she changed her steriliser 4 times, because she wasn't sure they were working properly. She doesn't have OCD. Maybe I am just being a conciensious Mum? If I can't beat this myself I will go to the GP and get some meds or try and get a top up of therapy. I just know this can't go on
  14. Last week my OCD and anxiety came back big time. My baby girl is 4 months old now and I had been coping reasonably well. From 3 months she has been moving alot in her sleep at night. She is in our room still and the noise keeps me awake, meaning I keep losing out on sleep. I am absolutely exhausted. Then last week our steam steriliser stopped working and this (I think) set off the OCD big time. We have bought a new steam steriliser, but I don't trust it and have to keep checking it. I worry constantly it is not doing it's job properly and that I am going to make my baby very ill from bottles not sterilised properly. I am worrying about it constantly. I just can't switch off. This has got me checking everything else all the time too - taps, formula lids, etc, etc. I don't want to go back on meds, because these will make me more tired. I don't know if I can see a therapist, because I don't know who will look after my baby, while I go and getting bottles etc ready for the person looking after her would make me more anxious. Also I went private before, because of long waiting list, but don't think we can afford to this time. I really want to enjoy this time with my baby, but at the moment the OCD is overshadowing it. I think I may even be depressed due to it. I am constantly crying and see no solution to all this. I need to stop all this OCD/anxiety, before it gets too bad. Can anyone help? Thanks Sarah
  15. Emily is 10 weeks old now, although she seems much older. She already has her own personality. She is generally a happy child and her smile is gorgeous I am on maternity leave from my job as a teaching assistant and it was the children's last day in my class yesterday. I felt sad to not be a part of it, because it is usually such an exciting and happy day. Some days I wish I was back there. I thought working was challenging for me due to the ocd and anxiety, but it seems easy in comparison to looking after a baby 24 hours a day. She is quite an easy child to look after in a way, because she is usually quite content. She also sleeps through the night (most nights) already - 10:30pm - 5am, so I get some sleep. My problem is I predict bad things are going to happen all the time and I am constantly on edge. Will she wake up and cry in a minute? Will she be sick again for the hundreth time (she is a sicky baby)? Will she choke? What will the neighbours think of all the crying? Have I tightened the flask enough? Is the formula as sterile as it can be? Did I put the steriliser on correctly? What should I dress her in? Is she too hot? etc etc. Goodness knows what my blood pressure is like. The ocd has come back and is causing me to take longer to do everything, but it is not as bad as it was a few years ago. I have also had bouts of low mood (maybe depression) since Emily has been born. Nothing I can't cope with, if I stay strong and determind. Yesterday Emily was really upset and unsettled. I sang to her and she looked up at me and smiled. As long as I sang she was happy and her face was full of smiles. That makes it all worthwhile!
  16. Sarahb

    New baby - OCD back

    Thank you for replying to my blog. Your replies have really helped. I have a tendancy to be too hard on myself, but the OCD isn't helping matters. I am sure I will be able to beat it or at least hope I can.
  17. Mixed emotions at the moment. Emily is 4 weeks old tomorrow and I love her so much. I feel very lucky to be given a beautiful baby daughter. I never thought it would be possible, due to my anxiety etc. But here I am, a Mummy!! During the pregnancy. Especially near the end, my OCD was so much better. I wasn't checking things as much and I was a lot happier. I thought having a baby would be the making of me and would give me the strength to overcome the OCD once and for all. The first 2 weeks of being a Mum were fine, because my husband was home on paternity leave and we shared looking after Emily. Now I am on my own and tired, the OCD has come back with force and I am having to check everything that I do. The worst anxiety is when it is something for Emily, like setting up the sterilizer or adding the correct amount of formula to her bottle or the water being the right temperature. I think the increased sense of responsibility and tiredness have caused the OCD to flare up. The thing is I know how to deal with the OCD and get it under control, but it is the energy and focus needed to do this, whilst looking after a newborn baby and running a house. I have faith I will get through this hiccup, but needed to get this off my chest somewhere where people understand the struggle. Sorry for moaning!!
  18. Sarahb

    Ups and Downs

    Felt like I needed to write today. Feeling a bit lost I suppose and thought writing everything down would help. On Sunday I am going to be a Godmother to my nephew Oliver. I really want to be his Godmother and in fact see it as a great honour, but don't know whether I should. I mean for one thing my OCD (well I think it is my OCD, maybe it is true), keeps telling me that I don't believe in God or the right God and therefore shouldn't be his Godparent. This stems from my Mum telling me that I don't believe, because when I was angry the last time I went to church (I don't go very often at all now), as I didn't agree with the sermon and some other things that happened, I was very mixed up and confused and said I don't believe anymore. I have come to the conclusion since that I do believe in God, but not with all the principles from the Church of England teaching. Also I am an awful person and therefore not a great role model for him. I am shy and impatient and maybe self absorbed (due to my worries). He may see me acting out my compulsions/obsessions and start copying them. This is meant to be a happy time, but at the moment I just feel confused. Today I taught the whole class all day. I am an LSA, but we cover for the teacher when they have planning time. As my teacher is also the Deputy Head she gets a whole day to plan and do other duties. Usually I have another LSA with me that takes on some of the teaching (due to my anxiety), but today I had a different LSA to support me. I was so worried about it, but I survived and so did the children, so it can't have been that bad. In fact I am a little proud of myself. I had been so worried about it. Sometimes I just wish I had someone to talk to about things. Someone that wouldn't judge. I miss therapy sometimes and that weekly chance to clear my head and talk through techniques to beat the OCD. I am no longer on meds either, because I am so much better than I was and am thought to be able to cope with my OCD using the techniques I have already learnt. There are times when my head explodes and having someone there would be great. Me and my husband tend to get into an argument when I try to talk to him, because it feels like he is judging me or that he doesn't understand. I know that he finds it hard, because he couldn't cope with me going back to the way I was and back in hospital. I won't let that happen though so he doesn't need to worry. Gosh, what a ramble. Sorry guys if you have read this. Sarah xx
  19. Sarahb

    Hit a low point

    Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate them, because I felt so alone before. I emailed my ex-therapist for advice and she said to either try what she has taught me, go to my GP for a short dose of Prozac or see her for one session to talk things over. She got back to me straight away and I am very grateful. I don't feel I am going completely bonkers now. I am going to try and go it alone or if not see her. I am worried about going back on to medication. Why is this so hard? Sarah xx
  20. A Mountain to Climb A mountain to climb again A hidden trap to catch me A dense forest to be lost in That caught me unawares The dark, black cloud has returned Will I ever see the sun again? I thought I had won this battle That I was free and strong How can I disappoint my loved ones by falling backwards, slipping up? I can't let this happen. I won't let it happen I can't let it win
  21. Sarahb

    Hit a low point

    I have been doing so well. Why have I slipped up? I have been working with a supply teacher in my class since the end of January and it is really stressing me out and depressing me. She is a lovely lady, but she sends me on pointless errands and relies to much on me. She doesn't feel comfortable talking to the parents about problems and expects me to do it. She is the teacher though and it the one paid to deal with these things. She can't discipline the class properly, which makes my job harder and I am beginning to dislike the class and my job. Unfortunately this has coincided with me coming off medication and being discharged from my psychiatrist. Due to the stress my OCD has flared up again and my mood is very low and is even turning morbid on and off. My husband can't go through this again and we are snapping each other and the atmosphere isn't great. I don't know where to turn now that I have been discharged. Lost and confused :helpsmilie:
  22. Thank you very much for the lovely messages :original: I think the OCD is worse than it usually is at the moment, because I have a supply teacher leading the class, instead of my normal teacher. I therefore have a lot more responsibility. Sarah xx
  23. I just wanted to let those who know about my OCD journey that today I have been taken off all medication and am no longer seeing my psychiatrist. It was my decision, although my psychiatrist and I had been preparing for this day for a while. My OCD is still present every day and I check many things at work and at home. I think I am able to manage the OCD better now and am coping a lot better. I don't think I will ever be free of this, but I have the tools now to fight it. If I don't give myself a chance to try and cope with the OCD without medication and professional help, I will never know if I can do it. There are always safety nets. Seeing my therapist again or making an appointment with my psychiatrist. My psychiatrist thinks that there is only a 1% chance that this will happen. I am determind to do this, even though I am nervous and unsure. Here goes!! Sarah xx
  24. Hi All, I just wanted to let those who know about my OCD journey that today I have been taken off all medication and am no longer seeing my psychiatrist. It was my decision, although my psychiatrist and I had been preparing for this day for a while. My OCD is still present every day and I check many things at work and at home. I think I am able to manage the OCD better now and am coping a lot better. I don't think I will ever be free of this, but I have the tools now to fight it. If I don't give myself a chance to try and cope with the OCD without medication and professional help, I will never know if I can do it. There are always safety nets. Seeing my therapist again or making an appointment with my psychiatrist. My psychiatrist thinks that there is only a 1% chance that this will happen. I am determind to do this, even though I am nervous and unsure. Sarah xx
  25. Thanks for all the lovely replies. I am so glad that this week is over. My mother in law/teacher was in today, so she took over the responsibility. I am so exhausted!! I had lots of lovely present from the children, so they must like me a little bit. I really needed those replies this week, so thank you :original: Patsy - I think you need an NVQ 3 to be an LSA in the UK. I am not too sure, because I got a degree in Early Childhood Studies and then decided that being an LSA was the job for me, even though you don't need a degree to do it. Thanks Lizbeth for your advice. I will have to try what you suggest next time. Thanks for offering me the chance to pm you if I need any more advice. I may need to take you up on the offer sometime. :original: Apparently the teacher who I had cried in front of told my mother-in-law that I had done really well while she was away. I won't be able to hide behind my anxiety anymore. Sarah xx
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